How Apple Watch Series 4 will raise the bar for wearables [UPDATED]

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Apple Watch Series 4
Somehow, this official photo of Apple Watch Series 4 leaked out early.
Photo: 9to5Mac

Apple’s biggest keynote of the year is just days away and while the iPhone XS will be the main attraction of the event, Apple Watch Series 4 could steal the show with a bevy of new features.

Rumors about the Apple Watch Series 4 have been heating up leading up to next week’s event. Leaked images of the new wearable have already surfaced online, but there’s still a bit of mystery surrounding the new gadget.

Here’s everything we know about Apple Watch Series 4:

What’s in store for Apple Watch Series 4? [Wish List]

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What cool new features are hidden inside that slimmer Apple Watch Series 4 frame? [Mockup]
What cool new features will be hidden inside that slimmer Series 4 frame?
Photo illustration: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

In just a few weeks, Apple looks set to unveil the biggest upgrade yet to its popular wearable.
While the external appearance of Apple Watch has not changed much since its launch, recent leaks suggest we can expect a new form factor with a larger screen when Apple Watch Series 4 lands.

In the Photoshop mockup above, I’ve shown how Apple’s next watch might look if it slimmed down and added a larger screen (as the rumormongers predict). That would be pretty cool, but there are plenty of other potential upgrades I’m excited about.

Here’s my top 10 wish list for Apple Watch Series 4 new features.

How to ditch Apple Watch’s horrible honeycomb app screen

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Apple Watch
The honeycomb app screen has always been a pain.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is looking to move away from the honeycomb-style app selection screen that debuted on the first Apple Watch.

With the new watchOS 4 software update coming to the public later this fall, Apple added an option that lets Apple Watch owners change the way they view and select apps.

Ditch the honeycomb for good with these steps:

How to force quit apps on watchOS 3

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apple watch workout app
Force quitting apps is different in watchOS 3.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch apps are faster than ever thanks to watchOS 3, but if you ever run into the rotating dial of death, sometimes quickly force quitting the app can help.

With watchOS 3, Apple has made the force quitting process a bit different. Wearers used to be able to double click the side button to force quit an app. Now the process also involves the Digital Crown.

Apple Watch Series 2 review: A tick closer to perfection

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apple watch series 2
Trade-in that old Apple Watch for money off at the Apple Store.
Photo: Ste Smith/CultofMac

I finally have a reason to stop cheating on my Apple Watch.

For the past 16 months, Apple’s wearable and I have had an on-again, off-again relationship. The Apple Watch looks great. It helps me stay fit. It tells the time really well. But it hasn’t been the complete wrist solution I need.

With the Apple Watch Series 2, a lot of the compromises of Apple’s first-gen smartwatch have finally been fixed. You can get GPS without carrying your iPhone. The new Apple Watch is water-friendly. And it’s built for speed. But with the new, less-expensive Apple Watch Series 1 getting some of the same features, is the Series 2 seriously worth the upgrade?

While working on this Apple Watch Series 2 review, I’ve been wearing the new device everywhere I go ever since it came out Friday. The short answer is, “hell yes.”

Should Apple Watch’s digital crown come to iPad? [Friday Night Fights]

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ipad_fnf
Would you use it?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch’s digital crown is yet to make its way to other Apple devices, but that could soon be about to change. According to a recent patent application, Apple is already exploring the idea of bringing the feature to the likes of the iPad.

Friday Night Fights bugBut would a digital crown make sense on a larger device, or will it feel out of place? Will it actually add useful functionality that enhances the user experience, or would it be little more than a useless gimmick that’s there for the sake of it?

Join is in this week’s Friday Night Fights as we battle it out over whether the digital crown deserves a place on the iPad and other Apple products.

Apple Watch’s digital crown could change the way we use iPad

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Digital Crown
Could the digital crown be a valuable addition to iPad?
Photo: Apple

Apple has considered bringing the Apple Watch’s digital crown over to other iOS devices such as the iPad, according to a newly-published patent application.

An iPad-specific digital crown could be used for a variety of functions — including controlling the device’s volume, resizing text, zooming in on photos or with the Camera app, and much more.

All the awesome features coming to your Apple Watch this fall

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Changes are coming to Apple Watch.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch apps have been ridiculously slow ever since Jony Ive’s timepiece started slapping itself onto wrists in April, but that could change by this fall thanks to the introduction of watchOS 2.0.

The next generation of Apple Watch’s software and apps was unveiled today at WWDC in San Francisco by Apple VP Kevin Lynch, who showed off a number of new features that probably should have been included on the device at launch. As we predicted, third-party apps will finally be able to run natively on the Apple Watch and there are a bunch of smaller improvements coming to the timepiece as well.

Here’s everything you need to know about watchOS 2.0.

Apple’s special gold isn’t so special after all

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apple-watch-edition
The gold in Apple's 18-karat watch is a standard gold alloy, not a miraculous gold/ceramic mix. Credit: Apple

All week, it’s been reported that Apple is using a “new gold” in the gold Apple Watch Edition. According to Bloomberg, Slate, Gizmodo and many others, Apple has patented a new process to create a “metal matrix composite” by mixing gold with ceramic particles.

The composite supposedly allows Apple to save on the amount of gold it uses, while making the substance super-hard and adding other amazing properties.

But according to Atakan Peker, a materials scientist and one of the co-inventors of Liquidmetal, which Apple holds an exclusive license on, it’s extremely unlikely Apple is using any kind of “new gold” for its watches.

He knows this because Jony Ive says so.